Date
21 July 2019
Transitions managing times of change 002

Transitions – managing times of change

Successful transitions are planned and implemented by a collaborative team. Strategies can be applied to any period of transition and setting.

Strategies for action

Four key strategies for planning a more personalised transition for students with learning support needs

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Get to know the student

Take time to understand your student’s strengths, needs and what's important to them; it will determine the effectiveness of your teaching and learning. Combine this knowledge with information on the student’s prior learning and experiences to inform your planning.

Student using headphones to remove noise distractions

“People who know the details of my autism are usually more comfortable dealing with me. Also, the more information my teachers have, the more ideas they have to help me learn.”

New Zealand Austism Spectrum Disorder guideline

Four suggestions for implementing this strategy:

Partner with the family/whānau

Families/whānau are an integral part of transitions. Involve them in the process and call on their knowledge to better understand your student’s strengths and needs. 

The key features of a successful transition to school that relate to children’s achievement and sense of belonging in school appears to be fostered when teachers are able to reduce the mismatch between what is valued in school and the child’s funds of knowledge from home and early childhood.

Three suggestions for implementing this strategy:

Plan for successful transitions to school

It takes a team to manage effective transitions. Involve the student’s whānau in the team from the beginning and enable the student to take an active role in the process.

Teams for transition

Build a collaborative team and ensure all voices are heard.

Four suggestions for implementing this strategy:

Prepare for a new student with additional needs in the classroom

Take a reflective look at your classroom, including your teaching methods, assessment processes, materials and the ways you construct learning tasks. Consider how it works for your students with additional needs. 

Mood board

Check in on how your student is feeling at various stages of their transition. Consider using a mood board to support a conversation.

Key resources

Website

Continuity of learning: transitions from early childhood services to schools (May 2015)

This report looks at children’s experiences moving from early childhood services to schools, from the points of view of both. It gives insight into what’s important, what works well and what’s not working so well for children at this critical point of transition. Author: the Education Review Office (ERO).

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Website

National transition guidelines for students with special education needs

Ministry of Education guidelines for specialist educators, schools, and parents about transitioning students with special needs from school to adult life. Guidelines can be downloaded from this page.

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Easing the transition process from primary to secondary schooling Helpful information for schools to consider

Easing the transition process from primary to secondary schooling: Helpful information for schools to consider

Read time: 279 min

This report presents findings from the Ministry of Education project, A study of students’ transition from primary to secondary schooling.

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

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